Claflin student wounded in shooting near S.C. State

By: SAMANTHA GRANT
Nov 01, 2017
PANTHER 2017 fall scsu shooting scene
The shooting incident prompted a lockdown at South Carolina State University. (Photo special to The Panther by Larry Hardy, The Times and Democrat)

Related video by KAYLA CATO:  YouTube interview link

A Claflin student was wounded in a shooting incident near South Carolina State University on Oct. 31.

According to an email announcement to all Claflin administration, faculty and students by George Johnson, Claflin assistant vice president for communications and marketing, junior mathematics major Brandon Jarod Dickerson suffered a gunshot wound.

Johnson's 6:47 p.m. Oct. 31 email stated: “His assailant is unknown at this time. Dickerson was initially admitted to the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, S.C., and is scheduled to be transported to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, S.C., for further treatment of his wound. The University’s Office of Public Safety is working with law enforcement officials to obtain more details about the incident. We will inform you with additional details as they become available.”

The email followed an emergency alert email/text sent by Claflin security chief Steven Pearson at 4:07 p.m. Tuesday. He notified all of an active shooter incident at S.C. State, stating there was no suspect information.

The student was shot at an apartment complex on Buckley Street, with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office reportedly receiving the call at 2:45. No arrest had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

S.C. State was placed on lockdown because the incident is in proximity to the campus. The lockdown was lifted in time for evening Halloween activities.

In the wake of the incident, S.C. State and Claflin students are assessing  security and safety.

Chance Schultz, a senior art major at Claflin, was at Walmart when the event occurred. Schultz said the school’s response was appropriate and he was unaware of the notification due to not checking his email. He stated that one of his friends got the alert through text.

Jarrett Polite, a senior sports management major at Claflin, was in the campus gym when he was alerted. Polite received the text option from security and felt the response time was appropriate.

Polite feels safe on campus – to an extent.

“I feel like we should have gone into lockdown along with State because the only thing separating us is a gate,” Polite said.

Douglas Fairnot, a junior theater major at S.C. State, was in class when the event happened. Fairnot received a text message from campus security. He said he feels unsafe on campus.

“I feel like no campus is safe like how everyone claims. It’s only so much they can do. I don’t fault them for anything though,” he said of security personnel. He also stated: “Whoever did this, you can run but can’t hide.”

Abrianna Williams, a junior elementary education major at S.C. State, was on campus when the incident occurred. She was glad that security notified students but wished that students had been notified right after the event happened.

Williams wishes that students were more concerned as they were roaming campus like everything was fine.

She feels safe on campus and said that security does a good job and patrols 24/7.

“I wish our campus wasn’t so open though, because any and everybody can come on campus. That is unsafe for everyone,” Williams said.

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